Saturday, September 7, 2013

Alaska Omnibus Part 7

Part 7:

Near Denali
From Haines Junction (Yukon, Canada) we took the road towards Haines that is in USA. Last night we arrived in a Kluane National Park and Reserve (Yukon, Canada) and set up our tent. The road to Haines from Haines Junction is a world famous scenic bypass. We will go to Hains upon our final return from this area but not yet.

Views from a highland pass on the highway
Summer Sunlight begins at 3 AM at these latitudes so we are maintaining our biological clock with respect to the clock. Rajan woke up to take a leak, opened the zipper of the tent and went out. When he returned he woke me us saying that a huge grizzle bear is sleeping by the brook, very close to us. OK no problem, nothing new here so I go back to sleep and that becomes difficult because of the sunlight.

Sunrise in the park
So I try to sleep in the vain but give it up at 4 AM and come out cautiously. Bear is still there. Now I am confused about what to do. Run or not run. It is quite unusual that this full sized bear is still here, may be it is sick or wounded.
Then I hear someone say, “Howdy!”
I turn and look in the direction of sound, he is a very skinny old man; wearing elegant clothes in this wilderness. His face is full of soap because he was shaving looking in the side mirror of our car.
He says, “This bear is dead; my hunting trophy.”
“Wow! So this solves a puzzle.”

A lake near park
I am still surprised and so many questions are hitting my curiosity. I wave to him but I got to take a leak first, usually that we do in the jungle like all desi but since now we have company and it is inappropriate to behave like desi so I walk towards the proper facilities about half kilometer away.

A glacier
When I return, this white old man has done his shaving and standing near the bear and I join him.
Offering me his hand he tells me his name. He is a Polish Jew. Owned a couple of banks in Florida but now the son run the business and he is retired.
“I am coming from Key West, Florida.”
“Wow! Mr. Kyishaiwnnae, you drove from so far far away.”
“Well, yes. I will do you a favor; I will let you call me Teddy. Ho ho ho.”
I said, “I guess, I must return you the favor, and you can call me Eddy and my friend who is taking a leak in the woods, he is Freddy.”
We laughed.

Alaska Sunset
Looking at the bear he said, “Well, I killed him, not something to be proud of; but it was my lifetime dream to come here and kill a bear. I procured all the licenses for guns and hunting here.”
“I was shaving using your car mirror because mine is full of mud. That I need to wash it off but you guys took over the best spot by the water.”
“What are you going to do with this bear?”
“Well, I hate to see the meat go waste so want to give it away. I though you might be interested but hell no. Hindus are not interested in the meat.”
“There are not many people in this campground,” He said in disappointment.
“But we know someone here who may be interested. Two sisters Janie and Mary.”

Glacier by the road
Now Mr. Teddy is a bit pleased. He tells me his story that he is now 77. Three weeks ago he buried his dead wife and then bought a new Jaguar and set off to Alaska with his hunting rifles. He honestly said that he hated his wife but seldom divorced because Jews don’t divorce. Before he married her, she was his boss’s daughter and one thing led to other and they were married. Wealth was another factor that he stayed in that unhappy marriage.

Train from Fairbanks to Anchorage
“That bad woman never let me go anywhere, she hated outdoors. Finally she is dead and I am filling up all my dreams. I always wanted to see Alaska and kill a full sized bear. Through internet, I found this hunting buddy in Dawson City and drove all the way there. We three people killed 3 bears in 4 days.”
“Wow! That is some achievement,” Rajan said joining us.
“No, no Freddy; that is not any achievement. Killing an animal is not an achievement but I accomplished my dream at last. That bad woman always put me down saying that I am a coward. Bringing this damn bear to my car was an achievement. Then dropping it here on the ground from the boot of my car is an achievement.”
“So you ate lots of bear meat,” I said.
“No Sir, I am vegetarian. I brought it here to give away the meat but I will take bear’s head today to Haines to a taxidermist. He will stuff it up and ship me it on a trophy.”

Alaskan Summer
As we were still talking, fat girl (park official came) she was excited to have all the meat she can take; but then she was disappointed to know that to get the meat she must butcher the bear. Teddy was not going to do it. He cannot sell the meat because selling was illegal.
“I ain’t got stomach to cut a bear up,” she declared.
“In that case, I will take it in the wilderness; axe the head off, and rest goes to wolves.”
I said in excitement, “Good idea Teddy. We will help you load it in your car.”
“No need to be excited MISTER EDDIE; I am not picking it up yet.”
Fat girl said that she will call her brother and he will find some solution, and she walked to her RV to call him because cell phones were out of range in the park.

Near Denali Park area
Then we heard the explosion sound and I wondered may be some hunting is going on around us but later on it turned out that glaciers were crashing into the lakes many miles away. Then on this explosion sound became a part of our routine life in the park. We heard the crashes now and then.

Fairbanks to Denali

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